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Sustainable packaging is not simply a fad or trend; it has quickly become a mainstay of branding and its importance will surely continue to grow in years to come.

So, what is it? And how can your brand benefit from developing sustainable packaging?

Coca-Cola announced the first 100% recyclable bottle made from plants, a development that took years of research and development. But why so much investment of time, money and effort? This type of launch responds to a reality of the market that is becoming increasingly important. The incorporation of sustainable characteristics in a product is also an excellent way to contribute to the preservation of the environment, and to build a differentiating brand message. Innovation focused on ecology has a very significant impact on the market and will be an indispensable aspect to win over consumers in the future.

In a recent survey conducted by Tetra Pak, in 20 countries, it highlighted that 70% of consumers bought greener products even if they cost more. Likewise, 66% admit having avoided buying a product because they perceived it as negative for the environment. So, a proposal for ecological packaging can not only increase sales but, fundamentally, you can avoid losing them.

The design of more sustainable packaging does not have to mean its loss of aesthetic quality or its inferior appearance. Packaging is the best way to attract consumers, and according to packaging experts at pactivate.com the use of design practices with more sustainable proposals makes it possible to stand out creatively and differentiate from other brands.

Tips for the design of sustainable packaging

With these principles in mind, the following are some areas to consider when applying package changes:

1. Consider materials made from renewable raw material

The production of materials made from bioplastics made from corn or sugarcane is an area of ​​rapid growth. There are also developments such as stone paper, made from minerals, and in addition to not using water, chlorine or trees in their production, it can be recycled infinitely.

2. Use recycled materials

One of the most effective ways to preserve the energy that is invested in manufacturing packaging materials is through recycling. While many materials - such as paper, glass and PET - can be widely recycled, there is a new generation of recyclable packaging: moulded pulp (and recycled content) containers, for example. This package consists of an outer moulded pulp cover made of 70% recycled cardboard and 30% old newspapers, which can be recycled up to seven times. Inside it contains a polyethylene bag suitable for recycling.

3. Propose a second use

The second use of a container, after the product is consumed, is a good idea to reduce the amount of waste, but the reality is that it is not a definitive solution since at some point it will also end up in a landfill.

The interesting aspect of the second life of the packaging is achieved through the use of novel materials that allow a prolonged and sustained reuse, for example a container with hermetic closure, or zipper type, or fabric.

PUMA got great attention when it launched its "smart bag", an attractive red box / reusable bag, used to sell its shoes. As a result of the change, PUMA reduced its paper consumption by 65%. The cardboard is discarded and the bag that consumers reuse exposes the brand, like a travelling advertising poster.

4. Changes in the product

The best example of a category that has experienced a significant change is that of concentrated products. There are products that have resorted to concentrated formulas to reduce the amount of water used in the factory, to allow for smaller retail containers.

The challenge is not to lose visibility and impact at the point of sale by reducing the size of the container. To avoid this, the help of structural and graphic design combined effectively is required.

Also interesting are the systems that combine refills of concentrated products with reusable containers.

Is it time your brand became more sustainable in its packaging?

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